DEHRADUN, India: Rescuers drilled about one-third of the way into the debris of a collapsed highway tunnel in India by Friday morning to reach 40 workers trapped inside for the last five days, according to officials.
Drilling had penetrated through about 21 metres (70 feet) of debris, Devendra Singh Patwal, a disaster management officer, told an international media outlet.
The rescuers need to cover a total distance of nearly 60 meters.
Another officer from the rescue team inside the tunnel said the trapped men were doing fine.
The workers have been provided with food, water and oxygen through a pipe and authorities maintain communication with them using walkie-talkies.
The 4.5 km (3 mile) tunnel in the northern state of Uttarakhand is part of the Char Dham highway, a significant project under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Authorities have not disclosed the cause of the tunnel collapse on Sunday morning, but the region is prone to landslides, earthquakes and floods.